Job Title: R&D Engineer
Department: Research & Development
Date: March 2020

 A. Zahner Company specializes in digital fabrication and mass customization of architectural metal at large scales. In this position, you will use computers and robots to construct many of the world’s most exciting and iconic buildings + sculptures. Past Zahner projects include: The de Young Museum, Museum of Pop Culture, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Petersen Automotive Museum, Cooper Union, The Modern, Broad Art Museum, Chrysalis Amphitheater, Stadiums, Airports and more!


Nearly every Zahner project sparks a custom production/automation process, quickly developed and deployed to satisfy project specific requirements. Zahner’s R&D group utilizes industrial robots and multipurpose machines (supporting and/or augmenting our in-house metalworking expertise) to meet client design intent and expand what is possible to build.

“Innovation and Collaboration to achieve the Incredible” - Zahner Mission Statement

R&D Engineers are responsible for supporting research projects and initiatives including novel process development and automation (70%). In addition, this position will be involved in ongoing sales and operations projects (large scale architectural productions) providing strategic support in the areas of design, concept development, modeling, fabrication, and problem solving (30%).


  • Work with R&D team to configure and deploy fabrication processes using Zahner’s robots and custom machines.  
  • Develop workflows and operating standards for the introduction of new processes.
  • Take projects all the way from concept to production- from sketches to BOMs and schematics.
  • Assist Business Development during preconstruction Zahner Assist.


  • MS or BS Degree in related fields(mech eng, architecture, mfg engineering, etc) or equivalent experience/knowledge.
  • Expertise in end-to-end digital fabrication workflows including CAD/CAM.
  • Expertise in parametric design tools.
  • Experience with programming industrial robots and/or CNC machinery.


  • Rhino/Grasshopper and other CAD tools.
  • Programming: Python, C#, Bash, KRL, KAREL
  • Electronics prototyping (physical computing) experience.
  • Proven process development and deployment( built a cnc machine? or robotic process?).
  • Machine design experience – specification and systems integration
  • Comfortable designing and specifying mechanical assemblies.
  • HMI development, PLC programming


  • Job will generally be performed in a team-based office environment, but may require traveling to a client or subcontractor’s office, to a production facility or a construction jobsite.
  • Job requires extensive interaction with manufacturing personnel. Limited exposure to sharp objects, tools, NC machines, welding equipment, chemicals, adhesives and other equipment. Noise levels in manufacturing may occasionally reach moderate levels. Safety glasses, appropriate clothing and closed toe footwear will be required when in manufacturing or at construction sites.
  • Conditions will vary at each job site location. Will be required to wear a hard hat, safety glasses and safety vest when in a construction zone. May be required to take the safety training onsite for some jobs if site visits are frequent during the course of a project. May involve exposure to varying weather conditions, climbing, maneuvering heavy construction equipment and long periods of standing on site or working from a trailer.
  • Job may require traveling to other parts of the country and maybe overseas at times. Travel times may vary from a few days to over a week based on particular requirements.